Living with your Baggage Packed

Some years ago, I took a Human Development course, where they shared life lessons that posed different types of paradigms than those we are used to.

One of those concepts made an impact on me and that was the one that referred to the process through which suffering is generated. Simply put, we can say that suffering originates or comes about due to a person’s attachment to people and things.

While reflecting on this issue, I remembered a story in which a person goes in search of a Guru (Spiritual teacher) so as to obtain knowledge about life, for this person was famous for his wisdom and was praised by many because of this.

He inquired where the Guru lived and after a long journey, he found a lonesome road that seemed to lead nowhere. He was surprised to find a small country house consisting of only one room, but he was even more surprised when the person inhabiting the small house kindly invited him in. Inside, there were only a few plain pieces of furniture, such as a small bed, a chair, a table and on top of it a candle and a notebook.

He couldn’t hide his surprise when he realized that this man with such great wisdom and fame lived in such a simple manner. In his mind he had imagined this man living in a big house with many books and belongings. He then started the following dialogue:

Person:​Really? Do you live here?


Person:​But where are all your belongings?

Guru:​​And where are yours?

Person:​I’m just passing through

Guru:​​So am I

It seems to me that human beings have an imbedded need to feel secure, to have, to belong.

They need to feel they belong to a certain place, a family, a community, making it hard to imagine themselves otherwise. However, we should be aware that in this lifetime nothing is permanent, and that the only constant is change.

There is a phrase that I like very much and that I used many times while delivering conferences in the corporate world. Whenever I had the opportunity to talk to people whom I felt were too attached to their position inside the firm, I would use my phrase “We should learn how to always live with our baggage packed”. With that being said, I tried to explain to them that even though it is fine to be passionate about your work, and to put the company´s colors, we cannot set aside the fact that there are a thousand variables that can topple your current reality.

Probably, it is more suitable to see life not as something that never changes but rather as something that is temporary.

It is better to know that we’re just passing by so as to avoid getting attached, striving not to hold on to anything, therefore allowing us to enjoy life, instead of storing up on things, setting aside our joy for later.

Nothing is permanent, not even us!

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